Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Doctor Walked Into the Room, Told Her She Was Expecting, and Then Heard Her Sigh

Reflecting on the gift of life on the eve of my birthday, which is on the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple.

God is at work, in each one of us.

My mother retold the story for my children at the birthday party she threw in honor of the gift of my life this past Sunday.

Her doctor, who had a huge statue of the Virgin Mary in his office, walked in to the room and announced that my mother, who was 24 at the time, was pregnant again. I was baby number three. My brother was three, my sister wasn't yet two, and my dear mother was anemic and exhausted. As an infant my sister had to be fed every four hours around the clock. Naturally, my mother was anxious for history not to repeat itself.

At the time, there was a shift from encouraging mothers to breastfeed to encouraging mothers to bottle feed their infants with formula. This increased the likelihood that children would be conceived closer together. My mother was not able to nurse my sister, and although that was disappointing for her at the time, those very circumstances led to my being created.

The compassionate doctor picked up on my mother's tired sigh. He asked her if she had seen the couple that left his office before she came in. He said they were unable to have any children. My mother still remembers the story. When I was born, she asked the doctor how much I weighed hoping that more around the clock care wasn't needed. I was a healthy five pounder. My children listened intently as she recalled the doctor telling her she had another little girl.

God love my parents who did not view their children as something to be planned according to their schedules. They understood that children are planned by God. My brother, sister, and I were blessed to grow up with siblings close in age and we were each others' friends and playmates.

How things have changed in one generation. Today children are often viewed as a right, to be sought after at all costs, even to the point of compromising morality. Modern, and faulty thinking, says children must be planned, or delayed for unjustifiable reasons, or frozen, or discarded in a variety of different ways. Married couples use immoral contraceptives, or do not welcome children at all, or will take one or two and that's it. Abortion is legal in the United States and fifty million children have died as a result of this "choice."

We have children if we want, when we want, and how we want, and then half of all marriages end in divorce because it pleases us to seek happiness elsewhere, leaving our children without two full time loving parents the way God intended. The love of God should find its first expression within the family. Humility, love, sacrifice, service. How we insult our most loving and generous God with our ingratitude, arrogance, and self-centeredness!

How many people are even willing to acknowledge publicly that they include God in their family planning, and make it a point to be generously open to life? How many are persecuted by others for living it.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for living so generously and lovingly. As a parent now myself, I know that truly living your faith nobly and heroically was not easy. Thank you for not demanding that I be exactly what you had in mind, exactly when you wanted. Thank you for not putting me on your wish list, after a big house or a new car. Thank you for accepting me into your lives and for loving me in imitation of Christ.

I love this picture. taken when my children were little,
when they were already being taught to value life.

Because my parents chose to love sacrificially,
my three children had the chance to be born.

Because my parents had their focus on eternity,
Joseph Karl Publishing exists today.

The children I went on to have,
and the books we went on to write.

Because my parents chose life,
my children and I were able to write the books God assigned to us,
to let everyone know that they are loved and valued beyond measure.

True love leads to life,
and many, many, many other beautiful things.

My little hand on the day I was born,
the very hand (lefty) that went on to write five books,
all of which have to do with the
eternal and immeasurable love God has for every single person,
without exception.

Value and peacefully defend every person's right to life,
from conception until natural death.

My birthday wish,
on the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple,
is an end to legalized abortion
in the United States and throughout the world,
and that every single person feels so loved,
that no one would even consider having one.

True love leads to life.